Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent

Making your own Homemade Laundry Detergent is easier than you may think. I make a 6 month supply at once for pennies per load. It smells wonderful and cleans amazing!!

Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent

I DID IT! I FINALLY DID IT! I have been wanting to make my own Homemade laundry detergent for years. I have been using Natural Cleaners for years to save money and become more a little more green. But sheer indecisiveness has kept me from getting in gear with making laundry detergent.

I couldn’t decide if I wanted powder or liquid. I know, really?!  I have read and read and have several recipes printed.  I kept leaning toward liquid, but most of the recipes have to let it sit for 24 hours and I guess I’m a little impatient and want to start using it right away.

So, with the inspiration of my friend Crystal, I did it!  I made some Homemade Powder Laundry detergent!! I am SO happy with it!  My clothes smell so good.   And did I tell you it is CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP.  I would much rather spend that money saved on something else.

The first batch will be a tad more since you may have to buy your container, a scoop and a new 5 gallon bucket with a lid.  I spent about $20.00 on these  items.

The ingredients cost me a little less than $20.00 for 270 LOADS of laundry detergent  Just about $0.07 a load!!

Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent

Ingredients – Makes 2 gallons of powder detergent

(1) 76 oz box of Borax -$4.99 at my local grocery store

(1) 55 oz box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda – $3.24

3 lb container of OxiClean – $7.52

(1) 4 lb box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda – $2.24

(2) bars of Zote Soap (400g ) – $0.97 each at Walmart

*** or (3) bars of Fels Nathpha, grated  or (3) bars of Ivory Soap, grated

Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent

One Time Expense

Container to put the detergent in – I bought mine for $14.97 at Walmart

2 TBSP Scoop – I bought a coffee scoop at Walmart for $1.67

5 Gallon Bucket with a lid – about $4.00 at Walmart


1. Pour the 1st 3 ingredients -Washing Soda, Borax, and OxiClean into the 5 Gallon bucket

2. Grate the Zote Soap in a food processor. It will fit through the feed tube of the food processor if you cut it in half and then cut those pieces in half. You can also use a regular cheese grater if you don’t have a food processor just be sure to grate it as fine as possible. I have also read that you can heat the soap in the microwave 4 minutes if you don’t have a food processor.  Then let it cool and it will crumble easy.

I did use my food processor because it’s so much faster.  It’s only soap so it’s just fine when you wash afterwards.

Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent

3. Use the shredding disc on the food processor to grate the Zote Soap 1 at a time. Put the first batch in a separate bowl.

Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent

4. Put the regular blade back onto the food processor and add 2 cups of shredded soap with 1 cup of baking soda at a time.

Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent

5. Blend the soap and baking soda for about 20-30 seconds until it forms a powder. (mixing the baking soda with the soap keeps the soap from getting clumpy.

Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent

6. Add each batch you pulse to the 5 gallon bucket as you go. When you are done with all the Zote, add the rest of the baking soda to the bucket as well.

7. Put the lid on the 5 gallon bucket and roll and shake it until it is mixed completely.

8. Voila!! You’re done! Pour or scoop the detergent into your choice of container!

Use 1 scoop or 2 TBSP for each load of laundry.

Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent

For HE Front Load Washers - You can either add it to your dispenser if your washer says it accepts powder or liquid.  Or you can simply but it directly into the tub before adding the clothes.

Regular Top Load Washer – Add it first then add clothes as the cycle starts.




  1. says

    I usually make powdered too cause I am too lazy to make liquid. LOL But I think I am going to try liquid next time. Maybe even today now that I am thinking about it.

    • Sherri says

      I know exactly how you feel. I put it off for a really long time myself but I am SO happy with it. And how much money I will be saving :-)

  2. says

    You ROCK for linking up this week to Tip Me Tuesday Sherri. {high fives} Just a heads up, Tip Junkie can help you index your blog more effectively if you upload at least 2 images, 2 steps, and blog post URL into your Tip Junkie craft room! Simply login and click “add a project” on your profile page to get started. {yep I’ve got your back!} ~ Laurie {a.k.a. the Tip Junkie}
    Link ~ http://www.tipjunkie.com/how-to-add-a-craft-room-project-on-tip-junkie

  3. says

    I make my own powder and liquid when I am feeling industrious but I am out of both at the moment. I am pinning your recipe to compare it with the one I am using…maybe I will change it up a bit. And I like your food processor tip…I’ve just been grating the soap on the small grating side of the grater. I’ve been nervous to use my food processor, although I don’t know why, it’s not like it won’t be getting washed afterwards!

    • Sherri says

      I felt the same about the food processor at first as well. But then my friend reminded me that it’s just “soap”. I just soaked it a little bit in the sink and then washed and rinsed it extra good. :-)

  4. says

    Stopping by from Best of the Weekend Party. I’ve thought about making my own, but haven’t been motivated enough. Seeing how easy it is here, tempts me more to give it a try.

  5. Shari says

    Just wondering if this fades your clothes over time? I’ve been using Melaleuca laundry products which are awesome, but can’t afford the monthly membership requirements. I’m worried these might be a little harsh. Thoughts?

  6. Amy says

    I tried a similar recipe two months ago. I just used an old plastic container and do it by the cup (One cup of each ingredient and 1 bar of soap). I had to make a batch Sunday. But I just use one tablespoon per load. My clothes are clean. I am one to over use detergent because of hard water, before Tide would go so fast. I would try less but I would get grease stains, so was envious of anyone who could use a little and get clean clothes. Well not anymore. So happy to make something that works amazing for so cheap.

    • Sherri says

      I am so happy too! I don’t know why I waited as long as I did to make it. I honestly can’t get over how well it cleans.

  7. says

    I keep thinking about this as well. But I don’t own a food processor and grating all that soap by hand does NOT sound like fun. Maybe one day I’ll give it a try. Thanks for sharing via Family Fun Friday.

    • Sherri says

      I have heard from others that if you put the soap in the microwave for for about 4 minutes that it will crumble after it cools. I haven’t tried it myself but it would certainly help with the grating. :-)

  8. Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes says

    I have ALWAYS wanted to try this! Thanks so mucj for sharing at Freedom Fridays! Have a Happy Easter! :)

  9. Shelby says

    I have been making my own for over a year now and won’t go back. Thanks for the tip about adding the baking soda to the processor when processing the grated soap! I can’t wait to try with my next batch!

  10. Lisa says

    Can anyone tell me if this DIY detergent makes any suds? I made it and it DOE NOT seems to make suds.



    • Sherri says

      This homemade laundry detergent does not have the same suds as commercial detergent. An active ingredient is actually added to store-bought detergents that cause the sudsing.

      The less suds also makes it safe to use in HE washers “-)

  11. Catherine says

    Just got all the ingredients to make this detergent. I am going to add espon salt because our wster is very hard.

  12. Katie says

    I have been doing this recently & love it. I also add a few drops of citrus fresh essential oil to give it an extra fresh scent. Also, I have been using wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets. I add a few drops of EO to those as well. Doing laundry is so much cheaper this way :)

  13. says

    Fantastic article. Homemade laundry detergent is really cheaper. My advice is to put some 20-30 drops of essential oil in it. I always use orange or lavender. It makes my clothes smell amazing. Thank you for sharing your article. Greetings!


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